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Autism friendly performances in the UK

There is nothing more enjoyable and immersive than going to see a live play or performance. However, for those who have autism or special needs the experience can be overwhelming. Previously this has meant, on certain occasions, individuals and their families have to miss out on seeing live performances.

Thankfully, many venues and theatre companies run autism-friendly performances that are suitable for all. These productions take into account a more relaxed atmosphere where a range of needs is catered to. For example, less harsh lighting and sound in the production. These autism-friendly performances not only create more entertainment opportunities for autistic individuals to enjoy but also their carers and family as well.

Find below a selection of the most popular performances in the UK that offer autism-friendly performances:

Frozen: The musical

Frozen is one of the most popular musicals of recent years. What was originally an extremely successful children’s film has now found its way to the stage. Disney’s Frozen: The Musical has come to London’s West End at the Theatre Royal on Drury Lane.

Frozen: The musical hosts ‘relaxed’ performances where the show and environment are tailored to suit the needs of those on the autistic spectrum. Get lost in the world of Frozen that will prove as fun for the younger members of the family as the adults. The show boasts specular sets and costumes that make it a trip to the theatre you will never forget.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

The world of Harry Potter is one of the most popular franchises in the world. Both young and old love the stories of the young boy wizard and his adventures with friends Ron and Hermione. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a theatre show that chronicles the next generation of Harry Potter characters, who get up to just as much mischief as their parents!

An adapted autism-friendly performance does nothing to rob you of the magic of this show. Small alterations allow this show to be enjoyed by autistic people who want to discover the next chapter of this mystical franchise. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is currently showing at the Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue in London.

The Lion King

The Lion King live stage performance is one of the most beloved productions throughout the world. From Broadway to the West End, this show is an experience not to be missed. The magnificent costumes and selection of songs make it an unforgettable day out.

The Lion King shown at the Lyceum Theatre in London’s West End
have regular performances tailored to those with autism.

Performances catered to autistic people run regularly. These include tailored showings and things like quiet rooms to make it the best experience possible. The Lion King is a show the whole family can sing and dance along to. Tickets are available at theatres throughout the UK.

The Royal Shakespeare Company

The Royal Shakespeare Company is the world’s most renowned theatre company for the works of Shakespeare. The company also hosts a range of other stage shows such as Matilda and A Christmas Carol.

With many of its shows, The Royal Shakespeare Company hosts ‘relaxed’ screenings aimed at those with autism or other sensory issues. These shows take a relaxed approach to sound, noise, and other triggering parts of a stage show. All are welcome to attend, so it is perfect for a carer’s day out or a trip with family. The Royal Shakespeare Company also provides ‘chill-out’ rooms for these performances. They are perfect for taking some time out if the show feels a bit much for an autistic individual.


If theatre is not your thing, or you want something a little more local, cinemas are the perfect way to see performances. Sadly, many cinema screenings are not suited to people on the autistic spectrum. In recent years, however, many cinemas have begun to offer autism showings of their films.

ODEON Autism Friendly Cinema Screenings | Dimensions
The ODEON cinema chain acknowledges a typical cinema experience
can be stressful for those with autism and therefore
offer select autism-friendly showings.

For example, the ODEON cinema chain offers select autism-friendly showings at over 90 of their cinemas across the UK. They appreciate a typical cinema experience can be quite stressful for someone on the autistic spectrum. These showings lower sound and lighting and remove adverts and trailers prior to the film. The doors also open earlier than standard showings, to allow guests adequate time to get used to the environment. These are easy trips out that are perfect for autistic people who need to be accompanied by carers or family members.

In this day and age, there are a wealth of performances that can tailor to those on the autistic spectrum. No one needs to miss out on the unique experience of live shows.

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